News and Events
Formerly Homeless Female Veterans and Their Children Move Into Newly Renovated Home in Fairfax
Ten formerly homeless female veterans and their children now have a newly renovated and expanded residence to call home, following the completion of a collaboration between Final Salute and HomeAid Northern Virginia to transform Final Salute’s residence in Fairfax County. Final Salute provides safe and suitable housing to homeless women veterans and their children; HomeAid Northern Virginia builds and renovates homeless shelters and housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders. The renovated home will provide housing for up to 10 female veterans and their children who are struggling with homelessness.
“All too often, supportive housing programs for veterans aren’t tailored to the needs of women veterans, and in particular, single-mother veterans raising children,” said Jaspen (Jas) Boothe, founder of Final Salute. “Female veterans are among the fastest growing population of the homeless. Yet more than 60% of programs that take in veterans don’t take in women, or don’t take in women with children, or have age limits on the children or have limits on how many kids you can take.” Final Salute provides transitional housing suited specifically to the needs of female vets, and their children.
The official dedication ceremony and “ribbon cutting” was held on July 17, 2018 at the home.
Jas, an Army veteran who set to deploy during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns, faced homelessness herself when she lost her home to Hurricane Katrina and was simultaneously diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. She learned by direct experience that there were few veteran programs willing and able to provide assistance to her and her son. Since founding Final Salute in 2010 as a way to provide support to other female veterans like her, Jas and Final Salute have served more than 2,000 across 30 U.S. states and territories.
The Final Salute home called ‘Karen’s Home” in Fairfax County provides 8,700 sq. ft. of living space that can accommodate up to 10 female veterans and their children. Prior to renovation, the house had seven bedrooms and five bathrooms. With the renovation led by HomeAid and its “builder captain” Winchester Homes, overall living space was reconfigured to eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The kitchen and bathrooms were upgraded, new fixtures added, a new deck and pergola built, storage areas expanded and the overall layout of the home was optimized for residents. Additionally, a previously under-utilized area of the basement was converted into living space – with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette - for a residential manager to provide ongoing, onsite services to house residents.
Of the estimated $650,000 cost of the renovation, 85% was donated by HomeAid, Winchester Homes and the construction trade partners – electricians, plumbers, and a range of other subcontractors, etc. – participating on the project. The project with HomeAid Northern Virginia enabled Final Salute to complete the much needed work on its residential property for veterans and, importantly, enabled the organization enables to invest more of its budget in programs and services for women veterans and their children, rather than in construction costs. Final Salute received a grant from the Flatley Foundation, and HomeAid received funding from the following specifically for this major undertaking: Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Van Metre Companies Foundation and the Home Depot Foundation.
“HomeAid Northern Virginia is proud to have partnered with Final Salute and to upgrade and enhance housing opportunities for female veterans returning from deployments and struggling with housing stability. Secure housing can change lives, enable success in school and in the workplace,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “No veteran in this country should be without a safe and stable roof over his or her head. HomeAid is grateful to builders and trade partners who donated significant time, expertise, materials and labor to improve the lives of these women and their families.”
Construction trade partners that will be contributing labor and resources to the Final Salute project include:
Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems
Colorworld Paint & Drywall
East Coast Insulation
IDS/Broad Run Recycling
Hizer Home Improvement
Noel’s Fire Protection
Philip Hizer Home Improvement
Summit Management Permitting Service
Sundecks by T&A Contractors
United Site Services
W.C. Ralston Architecture